Italy faces another government crisis | International
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The situation is once again borderline in Italy and in the next few hours there may be a government crisis that sends the legislature adrift. Giuseppe Conte, leader of the 5 Star Movement, announced Wednesday night that his party would be absent from a crucial vote in the Senate on Thursday. A decision that would de facto leave him out of the majority Executive chaired by Mario Draghi and that brings together practically all the formations. The anti-establishment party tried to swim and put away their clothes, implying that their refusal to participate in the session would not be definitive for the future of the cabinet. But Matteo Salvini, leader of the League, warned shortly after that if they carry out his threat, his party will also terminate the legislature by withdrawing its support and giving rise to an inevitable call for early elections (they were to be held in the spring).
Italy faces the most complicated autumn of the last decade. Inflation is running amok, growth forecasts are being lowered daily and the reforms promised to Brussels have not yet been completed. But the dismal horizon has not prevented their parties, once again, from thinking in exclusively electoral terms to open a crisis. The M5S, in full decomposition after the last split starring Luigi Di Maio, has given Draghi a pulse in recent weeks for various reasons. Always used as a pretext to capture media attention. The last one has been an aid decree that must be voted on Thursday morning in the Senate and that included some points that the party bases have refused to accept. The former president of the ECB, unaccustomed to the subtleties of politics, assured in recent days that if the crickets left the government majority, he would end his mandate and there would be no choice but to call elections. The statement issued and Conte’s statements, partly for this reason, left the door open on Wednesday night to seek a solution in the coming days. But an unexpected actor joined the crisis.
The leader of the League, Matteo Salvini, also urgently needed to mark his own profile due to the loss of support in recent months, smelled the disbandment and signed up for the órdago. “If the M5S is absent from the vote, the government majority will no longer exist: enough with the wars, the threats and the delays. The word must pass to the Italians,” the party announced in a statement. A movement that responds exclusively to the fear of remaining in a technocratic executive at the gates of an election, but which greatly complicates the situation and the room for maneuver of the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, to keep the legislature afloat.
The frightening of the M5S would not be final in numerical terms in Parliament. Mattarella, could propose to the current Prime Minister that he form another Executive without the crickets. But Draghi publicly warned that if the rupture took place, his government would cease to make sense and the legislature would be terminated. “I am not willing to lead a government with another parliamentary majority,” he warned on June 30. On Tuesday night he reiterated that idea.
Thursday will be a crucial day. Draghi, in all likelihood, will have to go up to the Quirinal Palace to meet with the head of state and report on the situation. The prime minister is fed up with the selfishness of the parties. But Mattarella could try to convince him to extend his mandate by holding a new Executive with the formations that remain. But the departure of the Salvini League would greatly complicate that strategy and would lead Italy to an electoral scenario in September.
The situation suits few actors. The European Union, for this reason, will also put pressure on Draghi to find a solution. Italy is the country that will receive the most funds in the post-pandemic recovery plan (more than 200,000 million euros between loans and transfers). And the commitments and the reforms undertaken to receive them depend to a great extent on the permanence of the prime minister at the head of the country. The polls indicate that if elections were held today, the leader of the Brothers of Italy, the far-right Giorgia Meloni, would be the winner and the right-wing coalition could govern: “Elections must be called immediately,” Meloni said. An unflattering scenario for the claims of Brussels.
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The tension between Conte and Draghi has been growing in recent weeks. The differences between the two have been increasing and have been transformed without finding a solution: first because the M5S was not in favor of continuing to arm the Ukrainian resistance, then accusing Draghi of wanting to remove Conte from the leadership of the party and now because of this aid decree. The prime minister has tried to change the dynamics of tension by announcing measures that could make the crickets happy. But his leader declared on Wednesday night that “they are not enough.”
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